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Israel and the Church

Pope John Paul II in Israel

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery... that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved... Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Rom 11:25-29)

Articles on the relationship between Israel and the Church, and role of Israel in God's plan of salvation. See also the multi-media presentation: The Final Marriage: The dramatic love story of Israel and the Church

Cardinal Kurt KochThe history of relations between Christians and Jews represents a very complex history which alternates between proximity and distance, between fraternity and estrangement, between love and hate. On the one hand, Jesus cannot be understood without Judaism; on the other hand, the schism between synagogue and church forms the first split in the history of the church,

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Jews at the Wailing WallAriel Ben Ami's and Mark Kinzer's reactions to my study regarding the different ways of understanding Israel have been important and I have appreciated the richness of their contents, albeit correcting some opinions I had expressed.

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The Face of IsraelIn this article, I examine three questions: First, the question "who is Israel?" - using as point of reference Fr. Carlo Colonna's five ways of understanding the term "Israel." Second, I discuss the idea of God's blessing that comes "from" Israel and is intended "for" Israel.  Third, I attempt to clarify our own identity and mission as Catholics for Israel in light of Fr. Carlo's five ways of understanding Israel.

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Fr. Carlo Colonna, sjIf we wish to grasp the meaning of God's Plan in history with regard to Israel, we must go far beyond the issues relating to the present political Israel or any other temporal  vision regarding Israel. We must grasp the role Israel has in God's Plan in the last days of history, wherein we have entered with the end of the time of the nations and the beginning of the time of Israel as God’s nation called in the end times to accept Messiah.

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Rina GeftmanEvery time that I am asked to speak about Israel - and this happens often - I feel at first overwhelmed by the greatness and complexity of the subject. And so I simply try with my listeners to look at Israel, the Israel of yesterday, of today, and that of the hope of tomorrow.

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World's largest Israeli flag (near Masada)St. Jerome wrote long ago that "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." Today, largely because of a widespread ignorance of Scripture, God's unique calling to the Jewish people is increasingly delegitimized and denied, and at the heart of this delegitimization stands their biblical connection to the Land of Israel.

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Jews studying the Torah….In the meantime, Israel retains its own mission. Israel is in the hands of God, who will save it “as a whole” at the proper time, when the number of the Gentiles is complete….the evangelization of the Gentiles was now the disciples’ particular task…. (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 2, pp. 44-46).

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Pope Benedict and chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo di SegniThe purpose of my speech is to point out what the change in the relationship between Jews and Christians is about, and especially to show that in this change and in some prophetic events taking place in the world today between Christians and Jews, the heavenly Father is carrying out His plan in history looking more and more towards the day when Christ will return in glory to fulfill the Father's plan upon the world.

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The Mountain of the LordI would like to present three images, one taken from the Old, and the other two from the New Testament, images which express the unique divine plan which embraces Jews as well as Christians: the mountain upon which all the peoples of the world come as pilgrims; the wall which at one time divided humanity, definitely torn down by Jesus Christ; and the tree, nourished by a single root, which should shine in the abundance of its leaves.

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Israel and PalestineIn the Catholic Church, disagreements are commonplace over a whole range of issues, be they political, social, economic, religious or historical, but at the end of the day these differences of opinion can be resolved through amicable discussion, prayer and a sense of fellowship and family in Christ. There is one issue, however, that divides so deeply that it has the potential to create permanent separation, and this is the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

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Saint PaulFor most Jews, Saint Paul was a renegade Jew remembered with bitterness for the criticism he aimed at the Jewish religion after he became an ardent follower of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps it is time for this negative view of Paul to be balanced by the solid defence of the Jewish people that he wrote in the mid 50’s of the first century C.E., in a letter to the Roman church.

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